DAD Guardians: announcing Charles Holland


In December 2020, as part of developing DAD’s organisational structure, DAD appointed 8 Guardians: Helen Lindon, Colin Priest, Alice Bryant, Gabor Stark, Charles Holland, Richard Bundy, Simon Bill & Edda Salander-Jones. Their function is summed up in the term ‘guardian’ and the means is through a non formalised structure where each,  as well as helping steer DAD, can continue working on projects with DAD.

We will be profiling the DAD Guardians through January, February & March 2021:

“DAD play a vital role in the cultural life of Dover and beyond. They create artworks, commission projects, link other artists together with commissioners, engage with their community and take an active role in the development of the area. It’s been a pleasure to work with them on projects in the past and I’m really looking forward to working with them again in this new role.” Charles Holland

Charles Holland is an architect, teacher, and writer.

He is the principal of Charles Holland Architects, a multi-disciplinary practice based in Dover. His work includes architecture, art, writing and research and ranges in scale from the urban masterplan to the domestic interior.

Charles is a former director of FAT. His completed projects include residential, civic and educational buildings as well as exhibitions, interiors and public art. His work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Venice Biennale. While at FAT, he was the co-designer of A House For Essex, the practice’s collaborative project with the artist Grayson Perry.

Charles is currently a Professor of Architecture at the University of Brighton where his research focuses on the development of housing and rural development. He writes and lectures about architecture regularly and has recently witten for the Design Update of VitrA London about tastes and social trends of ‘the smallest room’  HOPES, DREAMS AND BATHROOM SUITES  

DAD first met Charles in 2010 when he and his Yale students collected in the DAD Urban Room after a day of visiting Dover with Sarah Lang from Dover District Council. The research visit was part of an Advanced Studio called “This is England”, delivered by FAT as part of the MArch programme at Yale School of Architecture. The project focused on Dover looking at general issues of border, immigration, national identity and symbolism as well as issues specific to Dover. Who would have thought then that Charles Holland Architects would open their offices in Castle street in Dover in 2020.

The next meeting was on a train in 2017; the outcome of that hi-speed journey to London was Charles coming into Chalkup21 as the designer of the trail plaques as well as the writer on the significance of this contemporary trail of Art & Architecture along the Dover Strait and its 9 structures built since 2000.

DAD and CHA delivered the community engagement programme The Explorers in 2019, part of Pioneering Places East Kent, to support the conservation and opening up of the West Wing Battery of Fort Burgoyne through art led community engagement.

Most recently in 2020 Charles co-hosted the DAD What Next? Salon Is Architecture a Luxury Product?